Well, we’re a couple of weeks into 2012, and, I must say (without any intention of jinxing it), it is proving to have a much more pleasant beginning than 2011 had an ending. I don’t know if I believe all of the Mayan calendar talk. Well, let me rephrase, I know I don’t buy into the John Cusack, giant tidal waves eating D.C., apocalypse bunk that some seem to fear will be the ultimate result of 2012. I do, however, think that there could be change coming, a paradigm shift, to borrow Thomas Kuhn’s phrase rather poorly. Maybe there will be a collective switching of gears in consciousness. Maybe we will all be positively shaped to continue on in a more enlightened state of being. Maybe we’ll all just be happier, or maybe the Mayans just said “Fuck it, we’re tired of calculating for now. We’ll pick it back up in the next thousand years or so.” Who knows.
I would like to think that 2012 for me personally, at least, means that there is positive change coming. Well, I sort of know there is, it’s happening already, and I couldn’t welcome it any more warmly if I tried. A great many people have asked me in the past couple of weeks if I have made any resolutions for the new year. I tend not to. I think it’s a bad idea to script and plan change in one’s life. Too many times have I made concrete plans for my existence only to watch them crumble or morph into something completely different. However, I think I am breaking with my usual cynical tradition just this once.
The last week of December or so, my parents and I were driving home from some activity and on our way to pick up a dear friend’s dog at the kennel to take her home as a favor to her family. The dog, Maggie, is a boxer comprised entirely of joyousness and springs. She has never met a stranger, and her enthusiasm is infectious. She also enjoys giving rather intimate doggy kisses to anyone’s face within reach. I was in the back seat with her, and I became the recipient of such affections. After the first round of licks ensued, I suddenly found something emanating from deep within me that I had not experienced in quite some time: genuine, deep, raucous laughter. I’m talking belly laughs, the kind that make your sides hurt. I couldn’t stop. The more Mags licked my face, the more laughter poured out of me in an almost cathartic, cleansing rush of emotion.
My mother even turned to me and said “My gosh, Bets, I don’t remember the last time I heard you laugh like that!” She was right, it had been years, and in just seconds, a dog, the most unadulterated being of raw happiness, had returned it to me. It was at that time that I decided upon my new year’s resolution: let happiness happen. I feel that so often, over the last couple of years, I’ve blocked myself from experiencing it, and now it’s become critical that I make a change and remove those barriers.
So there you have it, everyone, Betsy is making a shocking move to remove her cloak of melancholy and biting cynicism (well at least a little of the latter), and open herself to the possibility of happiness. I am going to endeavor to go the way of my new guru Maggie and enjoy life’s offerings with innocence and love. I hope you all can do the same as the year progresses.